May I present Marc Bell - owner of Brain Dead Studio, original sound
engineer on "Creavolution" 1994-95, owner of TMR Records, the man who's
done all these clever remasterings of our ancient work and guitarist and
growler with the infamous Thamesmead Rollers. As for cooking, you wouldn't
believe what he could do with baked beans. How are you doing on this fine
day, sir, managed to stay sober this long?
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell I'm here!
Mick Magic Excellent, I thought you'd passed out for a minute!
Well, you and I go back a good few years, don't we? Must have been about
1992 when a Thamesmead Rollers demo arrived on my doormat?
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell Can you remember the tracks?
Mick Magic Streauth, now you're asking! I know the first Rollers
album we released was "Wasted Years" if that helps? Do you remember how
you first came to make contact with us at M&E?
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell We had masses of stuff before that.
Mick Magic Incidentally, any of you following this, if you have a
question you'd like to ask Marc (not 'why are the Rollers so crap' though,
that one's mine!), feel free. If you're happy reading, at least stick a
'like' up there so we don't think we're just talking to ourselves! ;)
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell Of course we were crap..... it was a
popular live thing @ the time. Then we started getting festivals....
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell Early version of 20 odd years from the
Mick Magic Could well be, but I'm supposed to be the one asking the
questions! And don't use the 'reply' boxes, it makes the conversation very
hard for people to follow! Honestly, never work with children and animals,
they tell you...
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell Actually the folk singer Michael Chapman
backed us for that recording..... he said my voice sounded like his.....
1st compliment I ever had!
Mick Magic DON'T USE THE 'REPLY' BOXES, I SAID!!! Calm down, Magic,
we've all had a drink. ;) Right, tell ya what, shall we have a bit of
music, give you some time to focus? So, pick a track from "Creavolution
Reborn", either master, one that you think best demonstrates the
difference between it and the original?
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell I can only see a reply box here!!!! (FB?)
Mick Magic That one just went in the regular 'comments'. Hey, this
is all new ground, and it's Friday night, and it's LIVE!!! AARRGGHH!!!
So... the track?
Mick Magic I have me headphones at the ready...
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell That's weird is it working OK now?
Mick Magic We'll muck through, so long as it comes up here one line
after another so folk can follow it (is there anybody out there?) and I
can edit it easily for the website tomorrow. So... the track?
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell Hopefully there are people out there.....
might not wanna join in yet?
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell Or they might be busy downloading or
listening to 'Creavolution Reborn????
Mick Magic Now there's an idea, shall we listen to a track? I have
my headphones at the ready here. How about you picking a track, from
either of the two masters, one you feel best demonstrates the difference
between the original CD and your new remaster?
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell 'Love Let Thy Name Be Darkness' from the
Analogue Remaster. I think that one came out the best..... It's a killer!
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell As most people are aware now there are 2
Mick Magic Okay, interesting choice, let's skip over to TMR's
Nimbit site then, click on the analogue remaster and play "Love Let Thy
Name Be Darkness", vocals by Leonie Jackson, enjoy muchly...
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell This I always thought was a great track,
but the CD version lacked dynamic & punch..... now we've sorted that out
with a 100% new analogue remaster!
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell Initially we went for a modern digital
one. With no hard limiting or brick-walling.
Mick Magic I can hear much more stereo width on there, the vocals
sound really alive. If I had one issue with the original CD, it was that
it was just 'too clean', didn't feel it was MMATT enough. This is!
Mick Magic And my heart beats like a drum, see my eyes go dark when
The Stranger comes
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell The analogue master was fed from a 64bit
digital feed through the studio PreSonus AI desk (using analogue outputs)
direct to 1/4 inch reel to reel tape on a Revox B77.
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell The stereo width comes from a 5.1
surround-sound program set to stereo & the EQ is from an original 'Decca'
vinyl mastering curve.
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell Everything else is totally analogue, then
bounced back to 24bit wave file.
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell All the noise reduction software &
compression was switched off!
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell It gives the album so much more dynamics
(even if you can hear slight tape rumble & clicks!)
Mick Magic WOW! I enjoyed listening to that, amazing how fresh it
sounds, even though these are tracks I've been listening to quite a lot
recently. Yeah, the odd noises in there really don't matter.
Mick Magic It's human, I love it.
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell The original 'Creavolution' CD album had
quite harsh compression & EQ, which was current at that time. But the
technology has moved on as you can hear with the new digital version!
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell I think the main improvement is it was
sampled at 64bit from the original DAT (Which was at 24 bit), but then
bounced down to 16 bit. Both the new versions of 'Creavolution Reborn' are
in 24 bit!
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell I hear Sam is online too...… what do you
think, is it a big improvement in quality!?
Mick Magic Sam?
Mick Magic Actually, let's encourage Sam to come and say hello,
let's go back to that analogue master at TMR's Nimbit site and have a
listen to "Rock & Roll Lifestyle", and that's our Sam on backing vocals!
Lead vocals by Gary St. John, lead guitar by Damien Page, gobshite at the
beginning is Marc Gordon Hendley Bell! ;)
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell The amazing thing was the DAT's were all
still playable. And gave us this chance for a re-issue!
Mick Magic I rather doubt the 1/4" is though, as much as I've
looked after it. You listening to "Rock & Roll Lifestyle" with us?
Sam Lancaster I remember that day! Marc bought me some cider to
help me to “relax” as it was my first recording session and I was so
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell OK so the gobshite on 'Rock & Roll
Lifestyle' is me,,,,, well it was a sort of 'Rollers' song wasn't it! But
it's way cool...… give it a listen now....
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell The 1/4 inch might still be useable if
it's baked. But these new masters are fine. A re-master is always better
than a re-mix on a historical re-issue.
Mick Magic Oh, Marc Gordon Hendley Bell! I've just realised you
first answered on the wrong bloody posting! We're supposed to be having
this conversation on the EVENT PAGE!!! Come over and join me...
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell It did sound a bit like my guitar
playing..... which Rollers song was it ripped off from ha! ha!
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell Am I here Mick?
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell Yep..... lets carry on then. Where was I?
(another beer needed).
Sam Lancaster Twizz loved that last track she was bopping around !
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell Though it sounds a simple song, 'Rock &
Roll Lifestyle' was one of the most complicated to record & mix.
Magic Moments At Twilight Time Oh fuck... 45 minutes into the
conversation and I've just realised Marc initially answered the intro on
my Mick Magic account instead of here. Look, don't worry, if we're FB
'friends', you can always pop over and read what's been going on. If not,
the highlights will be up on our website soon anyway, you won't miss
anything, promise. Right, Marc's just grabbing another beer, don't think
we've had an answer from Sam yet (and she's only downstairs looking after
Twizz), c'est la vie.
So, Marc, expand on that comment a bit, what was complicated particularly
about "Rock & Roll Lifestyle"?
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell Hey don't worry I'm live now.... even if
I'm half pissed! And at least the album is out & doing well!!!!
Julie Howell I did wonder why the thread wasn't making sense.
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell It's on 2 pages & I'm drunk as it's my
birthday...… but I'm enjoying it!
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell We were limited to an 8-track reel to reel
at the time (the 16 track came the following Summer, Thanx to extra money
from Chris @ Candor Records).
Magic Moments At Twilight Time In case you missed that bit; So,
Marc, expand on that comment a bit, what was complicated particularly
about "Rock & Roll Lifestyle"?
Magic Moments At Twilight Time Note to self: this is harder than it
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell I presume I'm on the right page now?
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell The fun part about this song was how we
added the 'live' party scene!
Magic Moments At Twilight Time Indeed it was, particularly the piss
take of "Summer Lovers"!
Magic Moments At Twilight Time Good sport, that Jonny Was.
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell We were having a launch party for a Candor
Records release (plus finishing vocals for another track of theirs) & put
up a live microphone to capture it all & take the piss out of Summer
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell We felt it was perfect to use this to
close the album & Chris @ Candor Records gave us permission to use it.
Magic Moments At Twilight Time Oh, come on, look... we have to do
this... you've just heard the piss take on the end of "Rock & Roll
Lifestyle", this is the original; Jonny Was (music by Marc & his
Thamesmead Rollers), the delightfully awful "Summer Lovers"...
Gordon Hendley Bell Jonny Was was always fun to work with, he actually
shifted quite a few CD's @ Candor Records. The best (worst) of his
material is now available at TMR Records and is still selling would you
Magic Moments At Twilight Time No.
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell Come on he was hilarious. I always thought
he was gay..... but he ended up shagging loads of female fans!
Magic Moments At Twilight Time Twizz would love this. But then
she's 5. ;)
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell Here's the A&B side version from the
original vinyl single release! Both tracks are now on TMR Records.
Marc Gordon Hendley Bell A whole album's worth might make Twizz a
bit ill..... At some point I will re-issue both Jonny's albums @ TMR.
Someone might still want to buy them?
Magic Moments At Twilight Time Not if they've got any sense, but...
oh, that was fucking inspired! That's put a huge smile on my face! :) So,
you were saying about "Rock & Roll Lifestyle" being particularly
complicated to mix and master, how so?
Magic Moments At Twilight Time I'll get this bloody answer out of
you if it kills me!